European Championship Qualifying - Group B
WalesWales0IsraelIsrael0

Euro 2016: Wales 0-0 Israel

By Dafydd PritchardBBC Wales Sport in Cardiff
Gareth Bale
Gareth Bale could have scored but fired his free-kick over the bar

Wales were made to wait in their bid to qualify for Euro 2016 as they were held to a frustrating goalless draw by Israel.

Wales seized control early on with chances for Andy King and Aaron Ramsey but they were shackled by a rigid Israel side.

The hosts continued to press after the break and Simon Church had an injury-time goal ruled out for offside, meaning Chris Coleman's side have not yet confirmed an end to Wales' 57-year absence from major tournaments.

Wales remain top of Group B and their hopes are still in their own hands, with games away against Bosnia-Herzegovina and at home to lowly Andorra to come in October.

Coleman's team are a point ahead of second-placed Belgium, who beat Cyprus 1-0 later on Sunday, and five in front of Israel in third, but this stalemate at an expectant Cardiff City Stadium interrupted the momentum of the Welsh campaign after three successive wins.

The wait goes on - for now

Wales players
Wales thought they had won it in injury time but Simon Church's header was ruled out for offside

Since a goal by Pele knocked Wales out of the 1958 World Cup, Welsh football fans have had to endure generations of near misses, misfortune and plain misery.

But Coleman's side have given their supporters renewed hope and still stand on the brink of banishing half a century of heartache.

Anticipation abounded around Cardiff ahead of this game against Israel, the nation they beat in a play-off to reach those 1958 finals.

Roared on by a vociferous sell-out crowd, Wales thrived on the magnitude of the occasion and dominated from the start.

King had a shot saved by Ofir Marciano and Ramsey headed the rebound over and, although Wales continued to press, they were frustrated by their organised opponents.

Celebrations cut short

Group B

There may have been a few doubts creeping into Welsh minds as the wait for a goal dragged further into the second half.

Bale clipped a free-kick narrowly over the bar from the edge of the Israeli area, the hosts were denied a clear penalty for a handball by Israel's Eitan Tibi, and King's header from a Ramsey corner was held on the line by Marciano.

The home crowd thought the breakthrough had arrived in injury time as substitute Church headed into the net but the roars of celebration were cut short as his effort was correctly ruled out for offside.

It made for a heavy sense of anti-climax inside Cardiff City Stadium, the home crowd made to wait for their moment of glory.

Man of the match - Aaron Ramsey

Aaron Ramsey
Ramsey was Wales' most influential player as they dominated possession and the Arsenal playmaker looked the most likely to carve Israel's defence open

What next?

Wales conclude their campaign with a double-header next month, visiting Bosnia-Herzegovina on 10 October before hosting group minnows Andorra three days later.

That final encounter at Cardiff City Stadium could be the setting for an almighty party, as Wales may already have sealed qualification.

What they said...

Wales manager Chris Coleman: "Had we scored early, it would have settled us down. It is in our hands so Israel and Belgium have to do their work to catch us."

Wales captain Ashley Williams: "They made it difficult for us. We wanted to get it done and dusted today but is has been a positive week with four points."

Former Wales striker John Hartson on BBC Radio 5 live: "They should have won but the official bottled it [over the penalty decision]. My five year-old daughter Stephanie would have done better than him today. But I believe we are on our way to France."

The stats you need to know

  • Wales need one more point to qualify for their first major tournament since 1958
  • The Welsh extended their record unbeaten run to 10 qualifying games, with six wins and four draws. They were last beaten in September 2013
  • Chris Coleman's side have now kept six clean sheets in their eight qualifiers, including their last five games

Line-ups

Wales

  • 1Hennessey
  • 2Gunter
  • 6Williams
  • 18Davies
  • 4RichardsBooked at 59mins
  • 10Ramsey
  • 7Edwards
  • 8KingSubstituted forVokesat 86'minutes
  • 3Taylor
  • 11Bale
  • 9Robson-KanuBooked at 79minsSubstituted forChurchat 79'minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Chester
  • 12Fon Williams
  • 13MacDonald
  • 14Church
  • 15Vokes
  • 16Vaughan
  • 17Cotterill
  • 19Collins
  • 20Lawrence
  • 21Ward
  • 22Williams
  • 23Henley

Israel

  • 18Marciano
  • 16DasaBooked at 45mins
  • 19DganiBooked at 56mins
  • 3Ben Haim
  • 21Tibi
  • 20Ben Harush
  • 4BittonBooked at 61mins
  • 6NatchoBooked at 56mins
  • 8KayalSubstituted forBen Haimat 45'minutes
  • 7ZahaviSubstituted forSaharat 90+3'minutes
  • 9DabourBooked at 18minsSubstituted forHemedat 45'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Levi
  • 2Meshumar
  • 5Melikson
  • 10Hemed
  • 11Bar Buzaglo
  • 12Ben Haim
  • 13Davidzada
  • 14Vermouth
  • 15Tzedek
  • 17Sahar
  • 22Kehat
  • 23Haimov
Referee:
Ivan Bebek

Match Stats

Home TeamWalesAway TeamIsrael
Possession
Home62%
Away38%
Shots
Home17
Away2
Shots on Target
Home7
Away1
Corners
Home11
Away1
Fouls
Home9
Away12

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Wales 0, Israel 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Wales 0, Israel 0.

  3. Post update

    Offside, Wales. Gareth Bale tries a through ball, but Simon Church is caught offside.

  4. Post update

    Attempt saved. Aaron Ramsey (Wales) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Sam Vokes.

  5. Substitution

    Substitution, Israel. Ben Sahar replaces Eran Zahavi.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Sam Vokes (Wales).

  7. Post update

    Ofir Marciano (Israel) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Post update

    Corner, Wales. Conceded by Orel Dgani.

  9. Post update

    Corner, Wales. Conceded by Orel Dgani.

  10. Post update

    Attempt saved. Gareth Bale (Wales) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Aaron Ramsey.

  11. Post update

    Offside, Wales. Dave Edwards tries a through ball, but Sam Vokes is caught offside.

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, Wales. Sam Vokes replaces Andy King.

  13. Post update

    Attempt missed. Gareth Bale (Wales) left footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Aaron Ramsey.

  14. Post update

    Corner, Israel. Conceded by Wayne Hennessey.

  15. Post update

    Attempt saved. Tommer Hemed (Israel) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by Tal Ben Haim II with a cross.

  16. Post update

    Simon Church (Wales) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Tal Ben Haim (Israel).

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, Wales. Simon Church replaces Hal Robson-Kanu.

  19. Booking

    Hal Robson-Kanu (Wales) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Hal Robson-Kanu (Wales).